Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brandon Colvin's Alphabet Movie Meme

So, I got tagged by Film For The Soul for a new "Alphabet Meme" floating around. Since I just did the Best Picture meme a few weeks ago, I have extended the tag to get Brandon back in the groove and so you all don't hear my same favorite movies over and over. So...yeah...enjoy the list and thanks to Film For The Soul for including us in the action!

Here's the rules...

1. Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don't know of any films with those titles.

3. Return of the Jedi belongs under "R," not "S" as in Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi. This rule applies to all films in the original Star Wars trilogy; all that followed start with "S." Similarly, Raiders of the Lost Ark belongs under "R," not "I" as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Conversely, all films in the LOTR series belong under "L" and all films in the Chronicles of Narnia series belong under "C," as that's what those filmmakers called their films from the start. In other words, movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Use your better judgement to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under "T."

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type "alphabet meme" into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

Drumroll, please!

A – Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) dir. Robert Bresson
B – Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch
C – Contempt (1963) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
D – Days of Heaven (1978) dir. Terrence Malick
E – 8 ½ (1963) dir. Federico Fellini
F – Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) dir. Toshio Matsumoto
G – The Godfather (1972) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
H – The Holy Mountain (1973) dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
I – Inland Empire (2006) dir. David Lynch
J – Juliet of the Spirits (1965) dir. Federico Fellini
K – Killer of Sheep (1977) dir. Charles Burnett
L – Last Year at Marienbad (1961) dir. Alain Resnais
M – The Mirror (1975) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
N – Naked Lunch (1991) dir. David Cronenberg
O – Out of the Past (1947) dir. Jacques Tourneur
P – The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) dir. Carl Th. Dreyer
Q – The Quiet Man (1952) dir. John Ford
R – Raging Bull (1980) dir. Martin Scorsese
S – Stalker (1979) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
T – Taxi Driver (1976) dir. Martin Scorsese
U – United 93 (2006) dir. Paul Greengrass
V – Videodrome (1983) dir. David Cronenberg
W – Winter Light (1962) dir. Ingmar Bergman
X – Seriously? I’m just gonna put this here: Magnolia (1999) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
Y – Youth of the Beast (1963) dir. Seijun Suzuki
Z – Zodiac (2007) dir. David Fincher

by Brandon Colvin


Anonymous said...

Great list, Brandon! I REALLY need to see Funeral Parade of Roses (so if you have a copy, let me know).

Question for everyone: Are there any good movies that start with X? The only one I can think of is XX/XY.

Joel Bocko said...

Good list, and a reminder that I need to look into those Inland Empire write-ups you mentioned back in September. Feeling sheepish now...

Ric Burke said...

Glad that Brandon took up the challenge.

Love the way you got around the X problem, I wish I had the foresight and gumption to do the same thing when I composed my list.

Kudos for Au Hasard Balthazar and Stalker, classic choices. Nice list.

James Hansen said...

Gotta be much as I love PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC my P choice is definitely PLAYTIME or PERSONA. Not to knock PASSION (all three are GREAT films) but I'd take on of the other classic P's.

Tis a solid list. And unless you really like XANDU, X Y AND ZEE, X-MEN, or XXX, the letter X is pretty much screwed. I think Ken Jacobs made a film called (not kidding) XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX. It's usually referred to as CHERRIES, but its official title does start with X. Unfortunately, I haven't seen it and can't make an endorsement.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Very cool list.
I think I have been tagged for this as well so I need to get my ass in gear (especially since I blew doing the last couple). My X film will be one of The X-Files features because I'll be damned if I can think of any others.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Got one: X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. One of Roger Corman's greatest films...

Brandon Colvin said...

Thanks for the comments!

Sadly, I don't have it. But there is a Region 2 DVD from Masters of Cinema. Chuck Williamson has it. That's how I saw it, in Hovet's class. I think you would be safe just buying it, as long as you have an all-region player. I can almost guarantee that you would love it.

I don't know if it was quite my foresight as much as the fact that I haven't seen most of the like 10 movies that start with "x" and I felt ashamed for not having MAGNOLIA on my list. Stupid "m." Thanks for the kudos though, much appreciated.

I was THIS close to choosing PERSONA. THIS close.

Your experience with movies beginning with "x" far outweighs mine. I'll be sure to look into that Corman film. I'm always up for a good Corman joint.

Anonymous said...

As tempting as it is to sing the praises of Xanadu (one of my favorite guilty pleasures!), I think I will recommend Ousmane Sembene's Xala for that elusive "X" spot.

Good list -- and some unexpected choices.

Oh, and for those wishing to see Funeral Parade of Roses... holy crap, that movie is amazing -- not to mention underappreciated in western academia. Masters of Cinema released an excellent R2 DVD of the movie about a year ago, which I highly recommend. If you're in the mood for anarchic, transgressive queer cinema, then I think it's safe to say that it would be an excellent blind buy.

But don't take my word on it. This clip says it all:

Anonymous said...

Christ! How did I forget Xala? I just wrote a paper about (a scene from) that.

Looks like I need to buy an all-region player (still).

Anonymous said...

I'm so pissed Chuck suggested Xala before I got to.

It's fucking awesome.

Great list Brandon. Glad to see you back in action.

Anonymous said...


I was jealous of shit of this list, so I decided to make my own.

A – Andrei Rublev (1966) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
B – Boogie Nights (1997) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
C – City of God (2002) dir. Fernando Meirelles
D – Dr. Strangelove (1964) dir. Stanley Kubrick
E – 8 ½ (1963) dir. Federico Fellini
F – Fight Club - Fuck everyone. I still love it. – (1997) dir. David Fincher
G – The Great Dictator – (1940) dir. Charlie Chaplin
H – Harold and Maude – (1971) dir. Hal Ashby
I – In the Mood for Love – (2000) dir. Wong Kar-Wai
J – Jacob’s Ladder – (1990) dir. Adrian Lyne
K – Killer of Sheep – (1977) dir. Charles Burnett
L – Let the Right One In - Too Soon? I think not. – (2008) dir. Tomas Alfredson
M – Manhattan – (1979) dir. Woody Allen
N – Notorious – (1946) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
O – Oleanna – (1994) dir. David Mamet
P – The Philadelphia Story (1940) dir. George Cukor
Q – Quiz Show…? - (1994) dir. Robert Redford
R – The Rules of the Game - (1939) dir. Jean Renoir
S – Solyaris – (1972) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
T – Talk to Her – (2002) dir. Pedro Almodovar
U – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – (1964) Jaques Demy
V – Vertigo – (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
W – The War - I had to give some documentary love – (2007) dir. Ken Burns
X – Xala – (1975) dir. Ousmane Sembene
Y – Young Frankenstein - This would have been Y Tu Mama Tambien, but I’ve been using English titles throughout so that would have been cheating. – (1974) dir. Mel Brooks
Z – Zelig – It’s literally the only z movie I’ve ever seen I think. – (1983) dir. Woody Allen

Brandon Colvin said...

That's a great list, man. I seriously think my V should be a slashie between Videodrome and Vertigo. That's one correction I would make to my list.

I have no qualms with any of your choices.

Anonymous said...

Seriously?! Let the Right One In?! That's two weeks old! Sure, it looks great, but let the dust settle.

Other letters which seem to lack choices:
Q and Z
The Quiet American, The Quiet Man, Quiz Show...others?
Zelary, Zelig, Zodiac...There are no other movies that start with Z. Let's brainstorm.

Unknown said...

Instead of working on my final papers, I also made a list. Same rules except I didn't use any film which had been previously listed (for the sake of variety).

A-Apocalypse Now (1979) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
B-Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) dir. David Lean
C-Casablanca (1942) dir. Michael Curtiz
D-Duck Soup (1933) dir. Leo McCarey
E-Eraserhead (1977) dir. David Lynch
F-Fanny and Alexander (1983) dir. Ingmar Bergman
G-Goodfellas (1990) dir. Martin Scorsese
H-High and Low (1963) dir. Akira Kurosawa
I-I Vitelloni (1956) dir. Federico Fellini
J-Jaws (1975) dir. Steven Spielberg
K-King Kong (1933) dir. Merian C. Cooper
L-Lawrence of Arabia (1962) dir. David Lean
M-Mulholland Dr. (2001) dir. David Lynch
N-No Country for Old Men (2007) dir. Coen brothers
O-Ordet (1955) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
P-Playtime (1967) dir. Jacques Tati
Q-The Quiet American (2002) dir. Phillip Noyce
R-Road to Perdition (2002) dir. Sam Mendes
S-The Seventh Seal (1957) dir. Ingmar Bergman
T-2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick
U-Ugetsu (1953) dir. Kenji Mizoguchi
V-A Very Long Engagement (2004) dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
W-Werckmeister Harmonies (2001) dir. Bela Tarr
X-XX/XY (2003) dir. Austin Chick
Y-Young Frankenstein (1974) dir. Mel Brooks
Z-Zelary (2003) dir. Ondrej Trojan

Anonymous said...

I was not jealous of shit. I was jealous AS shit. :)

And Jacob, Let the Right One In is THAT good. I've seen it twice already and I plan to go again when I am in Nashville soon.

It's fucking beautiful.
And it was either that or Lola Montes, which I ALSO just saw and I's say didn't leave as strong an impression on me.

Anonymous said...

Like the rest of you, I have also procrastinated like crazy this weekend and put together my own alphabet list. Sadly, I don't even have a blog, so I can't even post this under any sort of pretense other than I was lazy and did not want to grade half-baked papers. At any rate, here they be:

A – Ace in the Hole (Wilder, 1951)
B – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Meyer, 1970)
C – The Crowd (Vidor, 1928)
D – Do The Right Thing (Lee, 1989)
E – 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
F – Fighting Elegy (Suzuki, 1966)
G – George Washington (Green, 2000)
H – Happy Together (Kar-Wai, 1997)
I – Inland Empire (Lynch, 2006)
J – Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman, 1975)
K – King Kong (Cooper, 1933)
L – Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961)
M – Menilmontant (Kirsanoff, 1926)
N – Network (Lumet, 1976)
O – Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968)
P – The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
Q – Querelle (Fassbinder, 1982)
R – Raging Bull (Scorcese, 1980)
S – Le Samourai (Melville, 1967)
T – 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
U – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, 1964)
V – Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jires, 1970)
W – Wings of Desire (Wenders, 1987)
X – Xala (Sembene, 1975)
Y – Yojimbo (Kurosawa, 1961)
Z – Zentropa (von Trier, 1991)

Anonymous said...

Great List Chuck.

I'm especially impressed at The Crowd. Almost makes me think twice about City of God.

Anonymous said...

Good call on Menilmontant. That opening is INSANE.

Random movie that I've never heard of which has been added to my queue: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is just stunning. I got to see it a rare screening in Nashville months ago and I still feel mesmerized by it. Wish I could afford to get the loaded up British import that came out a few months ago. Soon hopefully...

James Hansen said...

I never gave kudos to all of you for making your own lists. I like them all so much, I'm going to include them in the post just so people who stumble upon the post don't miss all of them. And I huge kudos to Chuck for including JEANNE DIELMAN...easily would be my choice for J as well. Amazing film that is (finally) getting a new print next year! Get excited!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kudos, folks. :)

Tony - Thanks. Actually, I dug your list quite a bit too; after looking through it, I felt a bit guilty about leaving off Tarkovsky and Bresson completely. And The Crowd was, for me at least, a no-brainer, if only because a large section of my thesis went into exploring that film (in near painful detail).

Jacob - Valerie is easily one of the most haunting (and haunted) films I've ever seen; it's the sort of movie that still gives me goosebumps just thinking about. Actually, if I get accepted to any of these cinema studies pHd programs I'm applying to, I would really like to do a more all-inclusive study of the Czech New Wave--which Valerie is an integral part of.

(btw: the Second Run R2 DVD of Valerie can be purchased on for a pretty cheap price--don't buy the Facet disc.)

James - I had no idea Jeanine was being rereleased! I own the R2 DVD and was considering springing for the Akerman boxset... but might wait if more is coming out of the woodwork. Glad to hear it.

(Oh, and psssst! If you're going to post these, would you mind replacing my "F" selection with "Funeral Parade of Roses (Matsumoto, 1969)"? I immediately felt guilty when I put Suzuki's film in its slot...)

That was a really long post! And I have so much to do! Aaaaaargh!

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